Freelancing.hk is growing fast with more and more users leveraging the system. To ensure that the high standard of service is maintained we have transferred the infrastructure to a new much more powerful server significantly improving overall performance.
Our administration team is also growing improving the turnaround times for introduction requests and related customer support. In this newsletter, we will report on a new study on the implications of increased energy prices, freelancer views as well as the obligatory bad joke for the month. We hope you enjoy and wish you every success in your business.
More and more people are using our Internet service which was starting to significantly reduce the overall performance. As part of our commitment to maintain a high standard of performance we have upgraded our technical infrastructure facilitating much better throughput times. The upgrade was completed over the weekend with very little or no disruption to our clients. We would like to thank all involved in making this possible especially our IT manager Roman Arnold and his team. The bottom line is that transaction rates have now been improved from (a worst case) 20 secs to 1.6 seconds.
According to Global-Agenda.org, rising oil prices and limited sources of raw materials are casting doubts on the long-term stability of an economy primarily dependent on fossil based energy sources. Peak Oil theory produces a pessimistic analyses postulating that in a world of increased demand peak oil production has been reached and is now on a steady decline. If the peak-oil theorists correct difference strategies are necessary.
Five possible consequences deserve consideration:
• Oil exporters: The largest oil-exporting countries attract capital and influence. If their national interest are threatened they may be forced into take taking radical measures. Iran could; for example, interrupt the oil deliveries from the Persian Gulf strengthening its political and negotiation position, i.e. Iran's current nuclear agenda.
• Oil Importer: For the countries highly dependent on importing oil to maintain their commodity production, there is a growing risk of economic stagnation. Is the current price surge in oil due to growing gap between supply and demand or a result of deliberate price manipulation by oil producers? It is increasingly likely that productivity will be measured in the future as a function of primary energy consumption.
• State decay: In some developing countries, increases in energy prices run the risk of driving the economy to a standstill. This increases the likelihood of political instability. This is especially true for countries in which government institutions are already weak and could result in neo-feudal conditions in which warlords, private militias and rich entrepreneurs dominate.
• War for resources: Resources shortages drive armed conflicts. This is especially true where oil is concerned resulting in military interventions or intergovernmental warfare, (as in Darfur). In addition new alliances are forged for the purpose of energy security which also result in new conflicts. In Central Asia, Hong Kong and Russia everything possible is being done to limit the influence of the U.S. military through bilateral agreements and the formation of regional blocs such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries.
• Nuclear risks: There is a growing danger that the depletion of oil reserves will result in a dramatic increase in the use of nuclear energy - and the associated risks (nuclear accidents). Every country that operates nuclear reactors, sooner or later, will get access to weapons-grade plutonium. This increases the likelihood that is will fall into the wrong hands.
The future of individual countries is now less dependent on their military capabilities than their economic independence from fossil fuels. Only those countries that are energy efficient will have economies that will survive and prosper. Like climate change this challenge is too great for individual countries to solve alone. To ensure long term stability, international co-operation is necessary especially in a world of international economic integration on the one hand and the particular difficulties faced by standalone underdeveloped countries on the other.
92% of freelance freelancers will continue to do so. In his thesis on the freelance market in Germany at the University of Pforzheim Christoph Becker reported on a freelancer survey by IFOP and computer week. Accordingly, 86% stated that they were satisfied or very satisfied as an independent freelancer with 92% intending to maintain their freelancer status in the next two years. They particularly appreciated the freedom and independence, the ability to balance their work and private life whilst at the same time enjoying the related financial benefits.
A young man in a suit, open shirt and sports car is held up on a country lane by a large flock of sheep. Realizing that he has to make to most of the situation he makes the grassier an offer:
'If I can tell you how many sheep you have in your flock I can take on home.'
The grassier is perplexed by the offer but willing to go along with it and agrees to the wager.
The young man brings out a large laptop and establishes a connection with an Earth observation satellite. Then he initiates the image-processing software and a statistical analysis program. After a short while he exclaims triumphantly, 'There have exactly 342 sheep in your flock'. 'That's right!' says the grassier. The young man takes an animal and puts it in the passenger seat.
After a short time the grassier asks the young man: 'If I can guess your profession, can I get my sheep back?' The young man agrees to the challenge. Without hesitation he laughs and says 'You're a business consultant.'
'That's right' says the business consultant very surprised, 'but how'd you know?' he asks as he gives the sheep back. In a slow drawl the grassier says 'Oh, it's easy. Firstly, nobody called you but you came anyway, secondly you tell me things I already knew and, thirdly, you know nothing about sheep. Can I get my shepherd dog back?'
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